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Phone Number: 01603 704040
Fax Number: 01603 704047
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Email: sensorysupport@norfolk.gov.uk

Identifying Vision Impairment - Educational Settings

Checklist for identifying vision impairment – educational settings


Children may start school without a diagnosis of vision loss or acquire a vision loss while at school. It is therefore important for school staff to look out for any of the possible signs, or indicators, of vision impairment. The following may indicate a potential vision loss:


Behavioural Signs 

  • Tilts or turns head to one side while looking (child is older than 6 months)
  • Does not notice people or objects when placed in certain areas
  • Responds to toys only when there is an accompanying sound (child is older than 6 months)
  • Moves hand or object back and forth in front of eyes (child is older than 12 months )
  • Squints, frowns or scowls when looking at objects
  • Consistently over or under reaches (child is older than 6 months)
  • Cannot see a dropped toy (child is older than 6 months)
  • Brings objects to one eye rather than using both eyes to view
  • Covers or closes one eye frequently
  • A parent/caregiver concern about the way the child uses vision
  • Places an object within a few inches of eyes to look (child is older than 12 months)
  • Trips on kerbs or steps (child is older than 18 months)
  • Thrusts head forward or backward when looking at objects
  • Eye-poking, rocking, staring at bright lights frequently


Medical Signs

  • Family history of eye conditions other than glasses wear or age-related cataracts?
  • Meningitis or encephalitis
  • Maternal history of infection during pregnancy (CMV, toxoplasmosis, rubella, STD)
  • Premature birth of 36 weeks or less
  • Eyes make involuntary, constant, quick movements or appear to have a shaking movement (nystagmus)
  • Exposure to oxygen for more than 24 hours
  • Head trauma episode
  • Seizure Disorder
  • Birth Weight of less than 3 lbs. (or 1300 grams)
  • Neurological Issues
  • Significant prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs including prescription drugs
  • Eyes appear to turn inward, outward, upward or downward (child is older than 6 months)